NEWS: Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy announces 2016–2017 schedule, application cycle

May 16, 2016

CLARKSDALE, Miss. — The Delta Regional Authority today announced the 2016 – 2017 schedule of sessions for the twelfth class of the Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy.

Applications for the 2016 – 2017 Executive Academy are available now and will be accepted until the application deadline of July 15, 2016. Interested applicants can learn more about the program and begin their application at

Since 2005, DRA’s Delta Leadership Institute (DLI) has worked to improve the decisions made by community leaders across the Delta by broadening their understanding of regional issues and building a corps of alumni that have a regional and national perspective, a toolkit of resources for addressing issues facing their local communities, and the training and professional development needed to extend the pipeline of skilled local leadership within our rural communities.

Over the course of the Executive Academy year, participants will attend seven sessions across the Delta region and Washington, DC, and engage in advocacy training, case study discussion, and field studies of priority issue areas for the region including workforce training and education, culture and tourism, entrepreneurship and disaster resilience for small businesses, transportation, and basic public infrastructure.

“The motivation for the creation of the Executive Academy and, later, the Delta Leadership Network under the Delta Leadership umbrella was, in fact, to have a “corps” of well-informed community leaders who understand not only their issues but the Region’s issues as well,” DRA Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill said. Past fellows have represented diverse sectors of their local economies from business, industry, and philanthropy to government, non-profits, education, and faith-based organizations.

Upon graduation from the DLI Executive Academy, fellows become members of the Delta Leadership Network (DLN), through which they have opportunities to continue to engage in collaboration at regional levels both within their state and across the Delta region. 

2016 – 2017 Schedule

October 24-27 | St. Louis, MO

Session II: Transportation and Infrastructure
December 6-8 | Memphis, TN

Session III: Entrepreneurship and Disaster Resilience for Small Businesses
January 24-26 | New Orleans, LA

Session IV: Public Health and Education
March 7-9 | Little Rock, AR

Session V: Tourism as Economic Development
April 25-27 | Alabama Black Belt

Session VI: Policy and Governance
June 5-8 or 12-15 | Washington, DC**

August 1-4 | Lake Barkley, Kentucky

About the Delta Regional Authority

The Delta Regional Authority is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to help create jobs, build communities, and improve lives through strategic investments in economic development in 252 counties and parishes across eight states. Through the Rural Communities Advancement Program, the DRA has provided leadership development to more than 450 community leaders over eleven years and strengthened regional collaboration with its Delta Leadership Institute. Learn more at

Media Contact: Spencer Lucker            Program Contact: Amanda Richardson
(202) 434-4842,          (501) 912-5722,